Wednesday, September 30, 2009

In Praise of Autism

Today’s idea: Autistics deserve better appreciation for their contributions to higher learning, one article says. And they should be recruited in information technology because they have “a preternatural capacity for concentration and near-total recall,” another says.

Two recent articles suggest a sea change in attitudes toward those with the brain development condition. The most recent, in Wired magazine, highlights the hiring of autistics in information technology as one of the “12 shocking ideas that could change the world.” The focus of Drake Bennett’s brief article is a Danish entrepreneur who formed an I.T. consultancy made up mostly of people with autism-spectrum disorders, who troubleshoot software for companies like Microsoft and Cisco Systems.

Before that, Tyler Cowen, an economics professor who contributes to The Times, used the platform of the Chronicle of Higher Education to
fault fellow academics for bigoted-sounding research dehumanizing autistics, and didn’t stop there:
The more complex reality is that there is a lot more autism in higher education than most of us realize. It’s not just “special needs” students but also our valedictorians, our faculty members, and yes —sometimes —our administrators.

That last sentence is not some kind of cheap laugh line about the many dysfunctional features of higher education. Autism is often described as a disease or a plague, but when it comes to the American college or university, autism is often a competitive advantage rather than a problem to be solved. One reason American academe is so strong is because it mobilizes the strengths and talents of people on the autistic spectrum so effectively. In spite of some of the harmful rhetoric, the on-the-ground reality is that autistics have been very good for colleges, and colleges have been very good for autistics.

Cowen offers a case in point: Cato Institute Vernon L. Smith, Nobel economics laureate with Asperger’s syndrome. [Wired, Chronicle of Higher Education]

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Colbert re-Purr

If you are seeing this in Facebook, then please click here
Please click on a box below. Click on the corresponding lettered box that most represents your sentiment.

A = Adorable
B = Best cat picture ever
C = Cute Colbert
D = Distortion
E = Excellent chair for Colbert
(add 1 each to B and C.)
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Saturday, September 26, 2009

ALtERNativE Radio

I now listen exclusively to ALtERNativE Rock, and via ALtERNativE Radio on the WWW. I use K-Rock HD2, NY (N.Y.'s Only ALtERNativE) via Yahoo Music. I then broadcast it to every radio in my house.

For the first time in many years, an ALtERNativE TV channel has replaced CNN, Science, Nat-Geo, and History as my favorite live channel! It is HGTV in HD! Also, I like my cat, and he is named after the Colbert Report.

You listen to what kind of music? Please pick and click one of the lettered boxes that corresponds to the closest answer. A) ALtERNativE B) Rock C) Classical D) Show Tunes E) Hip Hop F) Country G) 1960's Pop H) There are no boxes for F, G, & H.
NOT: A) Funny B) Excellent C) Clever D) Informative E) Disagree

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Friday, September 25, 2009

FM audio transmitter

This C. Crane FM transmitter, for $80, was way worse than my expectations. I purchased it thinking it would be better than the tiny 2AAA batteries one that I purchased at my grocery store. That one only cost me $18. It is unquestionably way better than the FT-007, which is five times the size. The big black box does have things that the "Tune-Fee" does not have: telescopic antenna, flywheel tuning with LCD, and A.C. adapter. However it does not do the main job! The cheaper one has far better range and power! At best, this is a bad value for your car. I am amazed they pass this trashy toy as quality. It is pathetic! I plan to return it immediately, and angry that I must pay for the shipping. I am going to keep the one from the food store. Radio Schlock may even have one better than Crane. Sometimes the WWW has more overpriced trash than your local store.

AS the PIE turns

"Since Aspies are not common, they do not have common sense"
"Aspies can not see what you say"
"Aspies feel after they think"
"Aspies do not know or feel, unless you tell them."
"Aspies have, but are not ruled by, emotion"
"Aspies do not know how you will feel or react"
"You are no better, but Aspies do not know any better"

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I had my first pedicure today! It has only been the past couple of months, that I have learned and experienced what can be done to feet! During this time, I learned, and had my feet shaved and sanded! I never knew this can and should be done to the feet. I learned what dead skin is, and how this needs to be removed. I did not know that I need not endure foot pain. I have been amazed that my feet can look and feel so much better! A few months ago, for the first time, I had my toenail painted! It was otherwise ugly. I was surprised and delighted that people can fix your feet for money! I went into a store that said "nails" today. I had no idea of the services that are provided there, and was amazed! There are these computerized massage chairs that I sat in. My feet were put in water with jets! All sorts of procedures were done to my feet, nails, and legs. I never knew that filing my ugly nail could make it so smooth, and look so nice! My toe-nails were cut and painted. My cuticles were addressed for the first time. My toenails and feet never looked and felt so good! I never knew these services existed! I am astonished at the amount of decadent pampering people have done to themselves! I do not understand why only mostly women have all their nails painted. What is the purpose? This seems sexist and discriminatory. If you are on facebook, please click here.
Please click one or more boxes below.
A) Funny. B) Informative. C) Clever. D) Disagree. E) Excellent.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Seminole State College of Florida

Orlando Business Journal - by Melanie Stawicki Azam Staff Writer
Seminole Community College is now Seminole State College of Florida, following a unanimous vote by the district board of trustees Sept. 21 to rename the 44-year-old institution.
The change takes effect immediately. Seminole State will begin offering its first baccalaureate degree, a bachelor of applied science in interior design, in January, and other baccalaureate programs also are being explored.
“The new name honors our past while setting forth our path to the future,” said E. Ann McGee, the college’s president.
The college’s core mission, to maintain an open-door admissions policy that responds to the community’s needs, will remain unchanged, she said. The name change will not affect tuition, which will remain at
Florida College System levels, and no extensive additional costs will be associated with the new name.
“I appreciate the fact that they kept Seminole in the name,” said Rachel Clarke, student government vice president for the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus. “I’m proud of the name because of its history and tradition in the state of Florida as well as in the county.”
On Aug. 3, McGee announced the school would change its name and the community submitted 3,422 suggestions, of which 1,007 were unique, via a Web survey through Sept. 1. A committee then narrowed the names to three.
The new name takes effect as the college completes an $85 million makeover of its Sanford/Lake Mary campus. The state allocated $700,000 for signage improvements, which were put on hold until the new name was determined.
Last year, the
Florida Legislature created the Florida College System, which allowed the state’s community colleges to change their names when adding four-year degrees.
Seminole State College is one of 13 state colleges approved to offer bachelor’s degrees. The new name will be submitted to state lawmakers this spring for formal approval.
I have a new logo to design!
Full Sail University in Winter Park will nearly double the staff of its online program, hiring about 200 new employees during the next 10 months.
A) Funny. B) Informative. C) Clever. D) Disagree. E) Excellent.
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Monday, September 21, 2009

Aspergers is a way of life

by HarvardMan2009 For those of you who do not know or do not care to know, Aspergers syndrome is a label, and as is the case with many labels; when ever the aformentioned "label" is read about in such publications as the New York Times, or Scientific American, or any other well decorated, and well researched stack of lies; the only thing a neurotypical, unchallenged person can do is feel bad for people with Aspergers. I know this is true, because I have Aspergers, and I know that Aspergers is for me and many other people a way of life rather than a way of living, I have studied the works of many brilliant men, whom like me have Aspergers, Einstein had Aspegers, and he did a lot more for all of humankind than any neurotypical person has ever done, and by typical I do not mean smart. Kudos the people who made this movie a reality. It has a lot of heart. and as a wise man once stated, "Imagination is more important than knowledge, knowledge is limited, imagination encircles the world - Albert Einstein
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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Near Sights

On this date, in 1987, I graduated from college. Here I go again.
"Near Sights" is the title of my list of links to my other favorite sites. The title is in keeping with the theme and name of this web log site, called my "Sight". You can always find this to the left of this page. Please visit them now! Just click of one of the following titles.
&rew Quiz Adam (2009 movie) Interview audio. Aspie
Aspie Quiz Barack Obama &rew Lerner eBay &rew Lerner eBay My world Facebook &rew Lerner Follow my sight Geo-Cities site expiring Google search HELP & Instruction (&rules) Homestead &rew Lerner Music favorites MySpace &rew Lerner Profile Andrew Lerner Resume CV REviEW of &REW Lerner Twitter &rew Lerner Wikipedia Biography Yahoo &rew Lerner Yahoo 360 expiring
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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Edith 1918 - 2002

Edith Miriam came into this living world on June 14, 1918. She has seen this world making the transition to telephone communication, and has communicated on the World Wide Web. All of these people and more are whom Edith cares more about than anything else. She loves all living beings. We are and will be in touch. She is and forever will be, my greatest friend.
Please click on the picture.

Today is also the first day of 5770.
Happy New Year

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Friday, September 18, 2009

College #4 for me!

Applying for admission to Seminole Community College.
On September 20, 1987, I earned an AAS in a CUNY, after also taking preliminary courses in a SUNY in 1979. That was in Computer Programing. I now want to learn how to become a designer of Advertising art. "Graphic Designer" appears to define my career interest. I plan to apply for a scolarship from the government stimulus due to my unemployment. My understanding is that "Graphics Technology: Digital and Interactive Media Design" at SCC is eligible for the $5000 grant. I also suspect that this is a curriculum that will fulfill my ambition. I am more interested in creative design, than I am in web site creation. I am not sure if I need another AS degree. I do not know if SCC will offer a BS in Graphic Design. I want to be sure I will take the correct training that will help me do what I really enjoy doing. I want to be sure that my training can help qualify me for lucrative employment. What I had previously learned 22 years ago, now applies to what is now primitive, obsolete, or rare, and requires experts. In addition, my knowledge and skills have atrophied. I have had 52 employers. I want this trend to end.
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Life as an Outsider

Sunday, September 6, 2009 PARALLEL PLAY Life as an Outsider
By Tim Page Doubleday. 197 pp. $26
Tim Page's short memoir, "Parallel Play," might just as easily be called "The Mysterious and Disconcerting World of Tim Page -- and How He Survived to Tell the Story." A former classical music critic for The Post and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for criticism, the author has spent his life aware that he is an eccentric -- an anxious and uncomfortable one, whose intellectual gifts have provided no relief from the aching loneliness that comes from living on what feels like the fringe. As a boy, he existed in a perpetual state of vague, and occasionally acute, disorientation. It turned out that Page has Asperger's syndrome, but he didn't find this out until he was 45, when he finally received a medical diagnosis and began to better understand his difficult life.

Awash in detail, Page's account reads like a verbal version of the minimalist music he discovered and loved as a teen. "As a listener . . . you settled in . . . as though you had boarded a train and thought nothing about where you'd been or where you were heading but merely surrendered yourself to jostle and speed and passing images." His book itself is a jostling trip. Lists of musical compositions, book titles and authors, as well as excruciating memories of teenage exploits, some of them horrific, are recounted in detail thanks to the author's astonishing recall of minutiae, one of the defining aspects of an Aspie (as Page frequently refers to his syndrome). In the midst of this nonstop journey, the wordsmithing is nimble and lyrical, well-tuned by a writer with a musician's ear.

But the reader craves more about the people in Page's life: his infrequently mentioned parents and siblings; the first woman he married, whom he calls his "best friend, a brilliant and intuitive woman . . . to whom I felt and feel enormous loyalty"; the children he fathered, who "fascinate" him but from whom he keeps a certain distance; the later love of his life (and his second wife), who for four years brought him "sustained contentment" and happiness and then left him. The mention of these deeply significant relationships is oddly -- painfully -- brief. While the author seems to have found his way to balance and a taste of happiness, the old ache, in the end, remains palpable.-- Suki Casanave
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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

12/21/2012 Poll

Take my poll below, or click above for Face Book.
What will happen on or before 12/21/2012?

A) Earthquake devastates western California.
B) Yellowstone mega volcano erupts.
C) Hurricane will flood NYC
D) Solar flares cause world-wide black-out
E) Tsunami will flood east coast of Florida
F) Giant meteor hits the earth

Which letter is your answer? (A) (B) (C) (D) (E) (F)

Barack Obama will run for another term as president.
We gain access to the space within the Great Pyramid.
Johnny Carson comes back to life as our saviour.
WWIII. destroys human civilization on Earth.

Please click on the box below, that corresponds
with the letter of your choice.
(A) (B) (C) (D) (E) (F)

Except for the election choice, the above have the following in common.
They are all natural events. They all will definitely happen. They will not result in the destruction or elimination of our planet. Man has no control of them. They will wreak havoc on our civilization. They will all destroy Man's creations. They all make the election choice, our best hope for our future.

To the left of my entries in this blog, are previous older postings, listed by archive dates. Click on those in "Hind Sight", to see unread notices. My previous posts are updated, with the additions and revisions changed to the color red. "If it is in red, you may not have read it". Please continue to keep scrolling down this very long page to see everything. On the bottom of this and all blog entries, is date of which it was posted, and a permanent link to that specific entry. Click on it to make a comment. 9/16/09
Please click one of the boxes below. (A) (B) (C) (D) (E) (F)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Alien SPecIEs

Hello! My &rew view AND sight are empowered by the Aspie operating system. I’m A. Lerner + have Aspergers Syndrome. It’s not like you think. Enlighten yourself to my A.LtERNativE Reasoning, interests, views + experiences. 1/15 are Autistic, + ASPIrE to LeArn what Neuro-Typical ASsume understood. My interaction is A LeArner different. Help put A in Lerner + do not be ALien. I am not an Alien-SPecIEs. Please read left, click ALL pictures, underlined, reactions, boxes. What is your ASsessment?

Other Aspie Quotes by &rew Lerner:
"LeArner: Fitting in, and standing out." (Trying to integrate and be known)
"Aspie vindicates me on guilt charges." (now that I know I am not like you think)
"Aspies can not be assimilated". (we are born this way)
"Do not make ASsumptions, since the person might be ASpie." (he might not know any better)
"Since Aspies are not common, they do not have common sense"
"Aspies can not see what you say"
"Aspies feel after they think"
"Aspies do not know or feel, unless you tell them."
"Aspies have, but are not ruled by, emotion"
"Aspies do not know how you will feel or react"
" You are no better, but Aspies do not know any better"
" Detached from emotion" 1/5/10
Please click on the "Reactions" link below, and following each story or post on this site. You can then type your Feedback and Comments. You can also click an icon, to foward a copy of the posting, via an email, to anybody you want! That icon looks like an envelope, with a right arrow on it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Aspie Assessment

In a new movie, "Adam," the title character, a quirky loner played by the reliably adorable actor Hugh Dancy, turns his living room into an impromptu planetarium to entertain his attractive but romantically wary neighbor, Beth. Soon he is taking her to Central Park to witness raccoons frolicking in the moonlight, and we are comfortably launched on that predictable cinematic journey wherein the charming oddball woos the beautiful girl.
Predictable, that is, until a few scenes later, when Adam inappropriately announces his own sexual arousal and then confesses to Beth that he suffers from Asperger's Syndrome. Very quickly, our geek ceases to be the typical hero-in-hiding and instead becomes the embodiment of a syndrome only recently recognized by the American Psychiatric Association.

Asperger's is characterized, among other things, by awkwardness in social situations and an inability to read others' body language and social cues. And yet, in "Adam," much of the leading man's appeal comes from his refreshing, albeit sometimes brutal, honesty. For Beth, whose experience with men has thus far been negative, the contrast between the awkward, earnest Adam and her suave but dishonest ex-boyfriend turns Adam's supposed deficiencies into strengths, at least for a time. Despite a compellingly sympathetic portrayal by Mr. Dancy, the movie eventually adopts a heavily didactic tone, launching Adam into the more banal role of the misfit who teaches "normal" people something about life.

Whatever the deficiencies of the film, its release cements a new awareness of Asperger's Syndrome in popular culture. This year the Sundance Film Festival featured an animated movie, "Mary and Max," about an Australian girl and her New York pen pal, who happens to have Asperger's, and HBO is scheduled to release a film next year about Temple Grandin, the animal behaviorist who has written about her experience of Asperger's. In recent years, several memoirs, such as John Robison's "Look Me in the Eye" and Tim Page's "Parallel Play," have explored life with Asperger's. "My pervasive childhood memory is an excruciating awareness of my own strangeness," Mr. Page wrote in an essay in The New Yorker. His is an emotionally poignant assessment of the condition: "After fifty-two years, I am left with the melancholy sensation that my life has been spent in a perpetual state of parallel play alongside, but distinctly apart from, the rest of humanity."

Although the CBS television show "Big Bang Theory," a situation comedy that follows the travails of four brilliant, geeky young scientists, isn't explicitly about Asperger's Syndrome, several of its characters act like "Aspies," as those diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome often refer to themselves. Sheldon, a germaphobe who spends his leisure time playing Klingon Boggle and who maintains a strict daily routine, is the most likely (Aspie and not unlike his hero, Spock, from "Star Trek"). The show follows the men's efforts to navigate the treacherous world of normal social interaction, pertly embodied by Penny, the bottle-blond waitress who lives across the hall. She finds this passel of uber-nerds alternatively charming and exasperating. The conceit of the show is that neither Sheldon nor his friends see themselves as especially strange. On the contrary, in a geek-heavy community of physicists, the show suggests, many brilliant people hover on this end of the social spectrum. The comedy comes not from their realization of this fact, but from their strenuous refusal to recognize it and become "normal."
This approach is less forgiving for women. Simon Baron-Cohen, who directs the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge, argues that autism-spectrum disorders such as Asperger's are expressions of the "extreme male brain." Indeed, four times as many men as woman are diagnosed with the condition.

The mother of one of the characters on "Big Bang Theory," a brilliant neuroscientist and Aspie-like woman played by Christine Baranski, is, like the empathy-challenged men, the source of many jokes. But whereas their foibles are also ostensibly part of their charms, her lack of maternal feeling casts her as unfeminine and thus far more freakish, like scientist Harry Harlow's classic wire monkey experiment come to life.

Why are we seeing more portrayals of Asperger's Syndrome in popular culture? Increased awareness and diagnosis of conditions along the autism spectrum is one reason. But we are also in the early stages of a debate about whether autism-spectrum conditions are disorders to be medicalized (and, presumably, cured) or merely more extreme expressions of normal behavior that we should treat with greater tolerance. Economist Tyler Cowen argues that this awareness is also because our culture needs people with Aspie-like talents, such as better memorization and calculation skills and a keen desire to assemble and order information, even as it continues to stereotype them for their social deficiencies. In a recent essay in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Mr. Cowen chastised his academic colleagues for promoting negative views of people with autism-spectrum conditions, particularly the notion that these conditions should be treated as a disease that exacts high social costs.

On the contrary, Mr. Cowen calls people along the autism spectrum the "'infovores' of modern society" and argues, "along many dimensions we as a society are working hard to mimic their abilities at ordering and processing information." In a world awash in distracted people desperately (and unsuccessfully) trying to multitask, Mr. Cowen says, Aspies' ability to focus on detail is a profound advantage. This is particularly true in academia, he argues, where "autism is often a competitive advantage rather than a problem to be solved." 
Mr. Cowen's relentlessly optimistic view glosses over some of the serious personal and professional challenges that people who have autism-spectrum conditions face. Still, like the films and books that have emerged in recent years, Mr. Cowen's call for us to embrace a more liberal notion of achievement by recognizing in conditions like Asperger's a kind of "neurodiversity" rather than merely a disorder is compelling.
Our interest in Asperger's and the challenges it poses to our notions of normal behavior comes at a peculiar cultural moment. As traditional social norms and old-fashioned rules of etiquette erode, we are all more likely to face the challenge that regularly confronts people with Asperger's: What rules apply in this social situation? In a world where people routinely post in excruciating detail their sexual preferences on their Facebook pages, is it really so shocking to have someone note his own sexual arousal in idle conversation? Unlike Facebook oversharers, Aspies are not intentionally flouting social conventions. Quite the opposite. In "Adam," Mr. Dancy's character must relentlessly practice in order to master the mundane social interactions of a standard job interview. Tim Page notes that it was his chance discovery of Emily Post's etiquette book that revealed the rudiments of social behavior that had previously eluded him.
Also, our interest in Asperger's comes at a time when we are enthusiastically hunting for the genetic basis of what makes us biologically different from each other—why some of us are more prone to certain physical ailments and others are gifted in music, for example. And yet, our search for the source of difference will, in many cases, end in an effort to eradicate that very difference, particularly if it causes obesity, depression or violent tendencies. Will a society that accepts Asperger's now be as tolerant of it in a future where we might have the power to eliminate it? Let's hope so. As these movies and books suggest, we are all searching for the same ineffable thing: connection to another human being who accepts our quirks, diagnosed or not, and loves us all the more for them.
—Ms. Rosen is senior editor of The New Atlantis: A Journal of Technology & Society.
Copyright 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Our Song

Super Freak. Please click on the "Reactions" link below, and following each story or post on this site. You can then type your Feedback and Comments. You can also click an icon, to forward a copy of the posting, via an email, to anybody you want! That icon looks like an envelope, with a right arrow on it. To the left of my entries in this blog, are previous older postings, listed by archive dates. Click on those in "Hind Sight", to see unread notices. My previous posts are updated, with the additions and revisions changed to the color red. "If it is in red, you may not have read it". Please continue to keep scrolling down this very long page to see everything. On the bottom of this and all blog entries, is date of which it was posted, and a permanent link to that specific entry.

Monday, September 07, 2009

My song

Smells like... #9 best song ever as per Rolling Stone magazine.

Applying for a scholarship from the government stimulus due to my 7-mo+ unemployment. "Graphics Technology: Digital and Interactive Media Design" at SCC is eligible for the $5K grant. That curriculum is offered at the Heathrow Lake Mary campus. This will be my second college degree, so I may become a Graphic Designer.
Please read left, click ALL pictures, underlined, reactions, boxes below this and all posts. What say you? Please use the 2 search boxes above, read below, + click on "Reactions" below each post. I crave your comments. SEE &REW NEWS Please click one of the boxes below.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Bulb in the U.S.A.

A physics teacher in high school, once told the students that while one grasshoper on the railroad tracks wouldn't slow a train very much, a billion of them would . With that thought in mind, read the following, obviously written by a good American.
One light bulb at a time: (Bright idea) Someone was in Lowes looking at the hose attachments . They were all made in China . The next day I was in Ace Hardware and checked the hose attachments there . They were made in USA . Start looking. In our current economic situation, every little thing we buy or do affects someone else - even their job. A grandson likes Hershey's candy . His grandmother noticed, though, that it is marked made in Mexico now . I do not buy it any more . My favorite toothpaste Colgate is made in Mexico now I have switched to Crest . You have to read the labels on everything .This past weekend I was at Kroger. (Can be true for any store.) I needed 60W light bulbs and Bounce dryer sheets . I was in the light bulb aisle, and right next to the GE brand I normally buy was an off brand labeled, "Everyday Value . " I picked up both types of bulbs and compared the stats - they were the same except for the price . The GE bulbs were more money than the Everyday Value brand but the thing that surprised me the most was the fact that GE was made in MEXICO and the Everyday Value brand was made in - get ready for this - the USA in a company in Cleveland , Ohio .So throw out the myth that you cannot find products you use every day that are made right here. So on to another aisle - Bounce Dryer Sheets . . . yep, you guessed it, Bounce cost more money and is made in Canada . The Everyday Value brand was less money and MADE IN THE USA! I did laundry yesterday and the dryer sheets performed just like the Bounce Free I have been using for years and at almost half the price! My challenge to you is to start reading the labels when you shop for everyday things and see what you can find that is made in the USA - the job you save may be your own or your neighbors! If you accept the challenge, pass this on to others in your address book so we can all start buying American, one light bulb at a time! Stop buying from overseas companies! (We should have awakened a decade ago) Help our fellow Americans keep their jobs and create more jobs here in the U . S . A ..

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Asparagus Syndrome

Asparagus Syndrome is having the complete revulsion of seeing and smelling asparagus. Those with A. S. would rather be imprisoned with non-stop Bruce Springstein music for a week than eat one bite of the avoided vegetable.
AssBurgers: 1) This does not refer to beef patties between two buns. The picture at left appears to be a woman lying on a beach with only a pink swimsuit top.
2) False self-diagnosis of High-functioning Autism (asperger's syndrome), mostly used by internet-addicted users with limited social skills.